By Meg Ramsey

Change can be scary. But if you're not willing to change, you can likely kiss innovation goodbye. Which is why you can't just look at the applications you have today. You have to look at where you're going.

If you've been following my series on creating a cloud-first strategy, you've determined the best cloud solutions and providers for your needs and worked to gain executive buy-in and establish governance.

Now it's time to perform an application workload placement analysis. This will help you determine which business processes are best served by software as a service (SaaS) solutions and which business processes are critical to the business and should be developed in-house to live in the cloud.

Performing an application workload placement analysis will help ensure you have the right cloud destination for your workload, the flexibility you need and the most efficient path to success.

Let's get started.

Look beyond your application portfolio

Your full portfolio is not just the applications you have in place, but also the business outcomes those applications drive.

For example, your organisation may have used a particular legacy application for many years, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't change it in the future if a new or better tool comes along. Focusing more on the business outcomes driven by the application rather than the application itself, gives you the freedom to change the application if needed.

Applications and their business outcomes can be identified and categorised as follows:

1. Standard services are your everyday business functions that keep the company running (e.g., CRM platforms, HR processes, collaboration tools, etc.). SaaS applications can replace the functionality for these business outcomes, and can be the most efficient use of your available funds. Your goal should be to drive efficiency so your development team can focus on differentiating the business.

2. Differentiated services are the applications and processes that contain your company's intellectual property and drive value back to your company. You must protect these services further through the public cloud or platform as a service (PaaS) options. For example, can you leverage data being collected from existing applications to create new insights that will drive your business forward?

Once you have this down, it's easier to create criteria for your application destinations, whether it's SaaS, PaaS, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or legacy infrastructure.

The below chart identifies the solutions and providers you might choose for your applications.

cloud-solution-comparison-chart-Nov-2019-1000x563.jpg

While you should pick the best solution for each application use case, make sure to first ask yourself if an application needs to leverage the characteristics of the cloud.

It's also important to remember that each solution you choose offers a different degree of vendor lock-in. In my next post of this series, we'll take a closer look at strategies for combating vendor lock-in.

In the meantime, learn more by checking out my full BrightTalk webinar on Creating a Multi-Cloud Buying Strategy.

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